The Nationals, in search of bullpen help, have checked in on free agent reliever Casey Janssen and others, per a report from Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. The club recently traded long-time reliever Tyler Clippard to the Athletics in exchange for shortstop Yunel Escobar, and appear to be ready to rely on Drew Storen as their closer in 2015.
Janssen, 33, began the 2014 season on the disabled list with a back injury. He made his season debut for the Blue Jays on May 12 and pitched well through the All-Star break, compiling a 1.23 ERA in 22 innings. In the second half, however, he struggled, posting a 6.46 ERA in 23 2/3 innings. According to FanGraphs, the right-hander lost velocity on all of his pitches, including about one MPH on his fastball.
Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that Oakland Athletics owner John Fisher has reversed course and will continue to pay minor leaguers. Fisher tells Slusser, “I concluded I made a mistake.” He said he is also setting up an assistance fund for furloughed employees.
The A’s decided in late May to stop paying paying minor leaguers as of June 1, which was the earliest date on which any club could do so after an MLB-wide agreement to pay minor leaguers through May 31 expired. In the event, the A’s were the only team to stop paying the $400/week stipends to players before the end of June. Some teams, notable the Royals and Twins, promised to keep the payments up through August 31, which is when the minor league season would’ve ended. The Washington Nationals decided to lop off $100 of the stipends last week but, after a day’s worth of blowback from the media and fans, reversed course themselves.